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Friday, June 11, 2004
Limbaughs all akimbo
First drugs, now divorce? Are you sure Rush Limbaugh isn't some sort of stealth liberal and he's going to tear off a mask and Richard Simmons is going to be in there under all that neckfat?
Edited Monday to add...: I knew it! Rush is leaving his wife for T-Boz! Oh man. Scandalous!
Movies this week
The portal to Hell has opened suddenly and released this week's films. Watch out for flying feces.
The Chroncles of Riddick: Critics can't seem to agree on whether this action-sci-fi-Judi Dench-havin' piece of summer metal is a vacuous waste or whether it's a mildly ambitious thrill-ride saddled with a monosyllabic script. Either way, I'm guessing this movie won't be the Event Film of the Summer, thus further keeping Vin Diesel away from becoming America's Multicultural Action Hero for the 21st Century. (The Rock has got to be happy about this.) I like Vin Diesel. I think he's made some not-great choices in his career, but he was the voice of the robot in Iron Giant! Say what you will about Boiler Room or A Man Apart, but you simply cannot fuck with The Iron Giant. That shit is in the wine vault and it's aging splendidly. This movie uses the same character as the one from the actually very-good Pitch Black, a very effective scary movie about folks stranded on a creepy planet where scaly things come out at night. Even though the same writer/director and actor are at the helm of this beast, it sounds like they went the PG-13 action/adventure route, cutting the balls of the film off at the upper-scrøt for summer blockbuster appeasement. Vin — call us when you make a movie where you do more than spit out one liners and look stoic.
Control Room: There are about 1.5 million Web sites that are more informative when it comes to Al Jazeera than this site. You should really go find one of them and then read about what they have to say on this film. It's a documentary about the Al Jazeera News Network (translation: "Al Jolson News Network") and talks about why American and Arab news becomes so biased in wartime. My guess: Because there's a war on.
Garfield: The Movie: I almost saw this last Saturday. In fact, I overslept right through the screening, which I thought was an hour later than it turned out to be. I really do think my brain kicked into some sort of self-defense psychic mechanic mode and pumped my body full of sleep narcotics. The reason we were going to see this (apart from the fact that I tend to review a lot of the kid-geared sort of movies) is because I am married to a cat person. This cat person loves cats. When she saw the trailer for this movie, she loved seeing the computer-animated cat do his cute cat things. Me? I'm not a cat person. I have two cats, but they entered my life grudgingly and after much effort. I wasn't Mr. Drummond to their Willis and Arnold. I resisted. When I see a cat dance on a table, I only think, "Ew. Kitty litter feet." This movie is being crucified like it's the last forty minutes of The Passion. People are not buying Bill Murray (cries of, "Sellout!" so soon after Lost in Translation ardor, never mind that he voiced this movie before that one). Weird how they didn't make Odie computer animated. Basically, this movie is for people who still abide the comic strip, and that's a very small and sad group indeed.
Love Me If You Dare -- "Mon deui! I am in a film and eet ees saoh FRANCH!" "I am in zees film too and, sacre bleuea, we are so crazy in love! We dare each other to do crazy sings!" "We so crazeee! Let's fall in love!" "Alors!" "Sortie!" "Chateau Frommage!" "Chateau of cheese?" "Oui! It's a dare!"
Saved!: The problem with doing a smart satire starring and aimed at teens is when you go around proclaiming what a smart and satirical film you are before your film is released. Mean Girls for instance let the name Tina Fey and its contents speak for themselves. They didn't need to go around telling interviewers how smart and scathing their satire is. At the end of the day, Mandy Moore and Macauley Culkin are in your movie; they're both combined about as edgy as a Playskool tire swing. For these reasons, I will boycott this movie. But I do think somebody needs to do a smart, funny religious comedy for adults which isn't the really-not-that-great Dogma, which was a nice try, but... eh.
The Stepford Wives: Hoo boy. Here's another example of putting the cinematic cart before the moviegoing horse. If you're going to do a black comedy, you can't market it as a black comedy. Shit doesn't work. People get confused. People have to go see the movie and go, "Holy shit! That wasn't what I was expecting at all! That was way darker than what I was led to believe from my frequent watching of Entertainment Tonight!" You can't manufacture cravings for sort of undefined subject matter, especially a remake of a film that is completely different in tone. Some people are excited about this movie, and I was too, but we've been burned before by Paul Rudnick, whom I used to love. I was a fan of his since I read I Hate Hamlet and Jeffrey and even through the silly, but fun In & Out. But Marci X? Come on, man! Get back on track! Rudnick at one time seemed like he was going to do for cinema what Queer Eye did for TV. To give it a smart, sassy, swishified makeover, but instead he's churning out these obvious jokes that are supposed to be campy. Here's the problem with intentional camp: It don't work. John Waters is the master of camp and only 1/3rd of his movies are even watchable. Sorry you had to get caught up in this shitstorm, Nicole Kidman.
DVDs: Still with The Fog of War and Capturing the Friedmans. Gonna try to watch Badder Santa (Lauren Graham slutty? Mmmm...). We did finish Master & Commander which I quite admired. Self-surgery rules.
Thursday, June 10, 2004
Listening to: "Jesus Walks," Kanye West
Watching:Documentary about drug dealers and the slums of Rio on the "City of God" DVD. It's been on pause for about two hours.
Feeling: Strangely unfulfilled, writing-wise. Like I'm writing and writing and writing, and not moving forward at all. Is that treadmill writing?
Reading: Started the first three chapters of From Hell last night. WHOAH. Alan Moore is a huge, awesome, hyper-literate geek. I love it.
Planning: Going to San Antonio tonight, maybe.
People in need
Go visit Pamie's site and help out if you can -- several folks in need right now. Let's do this Good People on the Internet Kicking Problems in the Ass thing.
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
I have adventures
L'il Floaty Omie Head writes (and writes, and writes and writes...) about PJ Harvey and Best Buy's inherent incompatibility, stupid teenagers at a Kurosawa screening, the Stepford Wives critics shut-out and Apple's new plug-in air freshener/wireless router.
Sometimes the only way to get all of this floating crap out of my brain is to write it out.
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
There comes a point in every celebrity's career where they are just famous enough to realize they've been taken advantage of. (Or to be told so in their once-every-six-months meeting with lawyers.) I call it "The Litigation Phase." Jessica Simpson has just become that famous.
Monday, June 07, 2004
What am I to you?
On Saturday, sitting on the couch and traipsing through my online haunts, I saw the news about Reagan.
My journalist instinct was to hop online and pound out a blog entry about it, to outpour my feelings about the president who loomed large in my childhood, through eight of my formative years.
Am I a poltical/news blog? Am I obligated to record these big events when they happen? Who cares what I think about Ronald Reagan, really?
I found that except for the time I spent recapping Showtime's The Reagans last winter, I really didn't have much in the well for this man. He was a leader, someone whom I was too young to really think to disagree with when he was in power (at least until toward the end of his second term when I started to wake up, politically). There just isn't much there for me to write that hasn't been said already. How do you separate the leader from the man, the feelings you have for decisions made 20 years ago by someone who couldn't have told you what they were or why there were made for about the last 10?
We all knew this was coming and that it happened on an summer Saturday afternoon when people had the time to think and reflect on it a bit was probably the best thing for his legacy.
New word of the day
ghirlwind -- please add to your personal dictionaries and pause briefly to think about the last time you were in one of those relationships.
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